Each horn is tested extensively after restoration. Ed has a vast collection, so he needs an easy way to mount, and dismount air horns. Here is his solution:
"This is the way I addressed the issue of quick disconnect horn mounts. While the roof rack is a permanent part of my Avalanche, the horn mounting bolts are welded at the bottom. All I do is set the horn on the bolts, tighten down the nuts, and there you have it! In the pictures the chrome appearing nuts are on there to protect the threads from rust when there is not a horn mounted. The air line is connected via quick disconnects. Simple, cheap, but effective."
Note, too, that his device offers great security, in that the horn goes with him when ever he leaves his vehicle. It also enables him to dismount a horn for regular driving, when he's not testing or exhibiting his collection.
|Back in the 1960's I hooked up with Bill Strassner, and Steve Bonscher. Ever notice how railbuff's seem to come in pairs? I met them at the Jersey Central FH. Tower in Elizabeth, NJ. This tower was maned by William A. Burke, who I met back in 1955, but that's another story.
By this time, the Penn-Central blight took hold, although it was kind of a novelty to see a new paint variation on the locomotives. One Friday night after Bill Strassner also a CNJ.. Towermen, finished up second trick at CNJ. PU. Tower in Phillipsburg, NJ. Which I was visiting, we jumped in his Corvair Corsa convertible, (remember those?) headed out to Harrisburg, PA. and points west!
We got as far as Huntington, PA. on the PC. Harrisburg to Altoona main line, when the lack of sleep was taking hold! We pulled over next to the railroad, and went to sleep, sort of. In the two hours we were there, we were serenaded by a string of 14 L's from east, and westbound trains! So much for sleeping.
Daybreak Saturday we set sail for Altoona, stopping to checking out the East Altoona dead line. Many PRR. NYC. Locomotives waiting to meet their doom lined up there! We railroaded all day Saturday, between Altoona, and Horseshoe Curve seeing many variations of PRR. NYC. PC., and other locomotive on trains!
Now here's where my story gets interesting. Its now Sunday, not many people around, we returned to East Altoona to wander around, and get some pictures of what was in the scrap line. After taking quite a few pictures, this guard showed up, and asked what we were doing? We told him, he Say's, "Its Sunday, no ones around, go ahead, be careful". Neat we thought!
Me being a Diesel airhorn affectionato, spotted several horns I would like to have owned. This was 1969, I have recorded them trackside in years past, but didn't own one yet. I spot this Nathan M-3 on a Baldwin S-12 switcher, a three chime horn. The guard comes back, asks how we are doing? I ask him what happens to the parts like horns, and stuff when locomotives go to scrap? As if I didn't know. "The RR. throws that stuff away." He says, I also asked him how to go about getting one from the PC. He then says, "Its Sunday, no one's around, help yourself, but be careful." Wow! We thought. In a New York minute the tool box was out we were up on locomotives unbolting two sets of horns. A Nathan M-3, and a Leslie S-3L. They wind up in the back seat of Bill's Corvair which had the top down. These horns are quite large! We thank the guard, and motor out of there.
Now we are cruising toward Altoona station to get more pictures, when Bill gets an idea about riding a helper set around the curve westbound, and return. Hey! OK with me! In those days PC. were using the big Alco's in helper service. We park in the Station lot, Bill crosses over to what's now the Railroader's Memorial Museum which in those days was offices of the Penn-Central. Bill explains he is a CNJ. Towermen, and I was an ex PRR. Brakemen, which I was back in 1959-1963. We get the OK! By this time a pair of Alco's, a C-636, and a C-630 stop to pick us up. they were told of our coming along by a new RR. Convenience, a VHF. Radio!
We couple on to a westbound freight, head up the hill. This was so cool! I even took 8mm movie's of this experience, especially going around Horseshoe Curve. The helpers were cut off at MO. Tower in Cresson, PA. We spent a couple of hours in the tower getting some great pictures of trains sometime lead by F units in NYC. or PRR. paint! The operator radio's a set of light helpers returning to Altoona light from Johnstown to stop, and pick us up. Two more big Alco's, not hard to take. Down the hill we go.
As we head down the hill towards Altoona, we remember we left the Corvair with its top down in Altoona Station with the pirated horns in the back seat! An uneasy trip ensues! Both Bill, and I have visions of th PC. Cops, the FBI., the CIA. and a country constable waiting to take us away in irons! As we arrive, and get off the locomotives, guess what? Nobody, nothing, notta! Whew! We thought. With that, we thank the crew, hop in the Corvair, drive off into the sunset, NJ. bound. This was the one time Bill, and I weren't reluctant to leave Altoona, and all those trains. As we drove off, we said to one another. "Hey the guard said it would be OK to take those horns. Besides, the PC. Would throw them away anyway!" None the less we both were glad to be outta there unscathed!
That Nathan M-3 started me on a life long hobby of collecting, restoring, and sounding diesel airhorns. I still have that M-3 displayed in my office. This is just a different offshoot of the Railroading hobby, which has introduced me to many other diesel airhorn affectionato's out there as well.